Rain rain go away come back another day.
So everyone thinks I come on these buying trips and sunbathe and relax, and there is some relaxing, but it’s mainly busy busy. I sit here writing this blog post in the rain, not pitter patter rain but throwing down and bouncing off the roof rain.
This is a problem; not because I’m scared of the rain – the rain is so warm it’s like taking a shower. The problem is two-fold. The climate has begun to change in Caranarvi, everyone I speak to says so. The rains come for longer, and it’s more ferocious. It’s making the coffee develop at different rates, and it’s making some of it turn black and horrid on the tree. This is of course bad, and means less coffee. Much much less coffee, around 60% less than last year. This is not just down to them turning black, but is also due to the other problem with rain.
Because of the rain, no one wants to pick. Who would want to stand in the rain for 9 hours up to your knees in mud on the side of a mountain? Not me for sure, and I’m fairly sure that I couldn’t find many folks in the UK wanting to to do this. Finding pickers is becoming harder and harder because of access to better jobs, and higher aspirations of the young folk, who are moving to the city. This is a real problem that’s not going to go away.
The young would rather drive a taxi between Caranarvi and La Paz than stand in the rain, and who can blame them. But what does this mean? Well, coffee prices will have to go up: those who stay and pick will need greater rewards. It’s an interesting problem when you tie it with climate change. Coffee picking is not suited to the 21st century mentality of work and living, and all the good coffee can’t be mechanically picked – technology can’t help us there (hillsides and inaccessible areas, and the need for the hand and eye of man when picking).
For now I can’t help but wish it would stop raining for a selfish reason: I am getting wet.
And there is some play too, as I have just eaten the best steak ever in my life. Good Bolivian food, with good Bolivian wine and more good Bolivian wine. Time for bed